From the dawn of time, fire has been a key part of human life. And nowadays, we can harness its power and contain it in a small piece of gear that we can put into our pockets – the lighter. It is an invaluable addition to anyone, not only to smokers. It can be used in the kitchen when doing repairs when doing survival for fun, or even during an emergency.
But for emergencies and more serious situations, there are more special, so-called survival lighters. They are weatherproof, have more space for fluid, and are much more durable. So in this article, I’m going to show you what are some of the best lighters on the market right now and how to choose the best survival lighters for you.
So without further ado, let’s get right on.
1. Tesla Coil
Our first entry, like most of the succeeding ones, ditches the ordinary flame setup for a tesla coil that uses lightning to create a head and light anything you can think of. It uses a battery, which is charged through a Micro USB, and uses pretty huge for its size 180 to 200 mAh capacity.
While the Tesla coil can be used by itself, if you pair it with a power bank that charges through solar energy or with a hand-cranked dynamo, you can use it almost indefinitely. So, in a sense, you can have a lighter with infinite fuel. This specific model of tesla coil is the original design, so you have some brand recognition behind it and a nice warranty if something ever happens.
Suffice it to say, if you want something more different and weather-resistant, a tesla coil lighter will do a good job of standing out while doing almost a better job than the more conventional choices.
- It uses a battery, which is charged through a Micro USB and uses a pretty huge for its size 180 to 200 mAh capacity
- Paired with a power bank that charges through solar energy or with a hand-cranked dynamo, you can use it almost indefinitely
- This Tesla coil is the original design, so you have some brand recognition behind it and a nice warranty
- Having to rely on batteries is not ideal
2. TACAMO H2 Plasma
The TACAMO H2 Plasma is an advanced, dual-arc Plasma torch lighter that creates two instant-on 2,000 Degree flameless tesla arcs with the press of a button. The built-in rechargeable Li-ion battery includes a mini-USB charging port, offering endless usage cycles, so if you have a USB cable, you can charge it from almost anywhere. But this lighter isn’t only a source of fire but also an emergency tool that has a flashlight with three emergency modes, so you will always have a way to contact someone if you carry your lighter with you, and because of its compact and lightweight design, you will want to carry it always.
The TACAMO H2 ARC includes a safety cap and locks to keep children away from the hot plasma, a 10-second auto-shutoff feature, and an over-charging and over-current protection circuit to prevent the device from overheating during usage or charging. The Tacamo is both lightweight and windproof, comes in Hunter-Orange to remain visible on the ground, and includes a High-Visibility Ranger Bead lanyard made from patented SurvivorCord. And to top it all off, you have a lifetime guarantee, so if anything happens, they will replace your lighter without any hesitation.
- Тhe Tacamo Is An Advanced, Dual-arc Plasma Torch Lighter That Creates Two Instant-on push 2,000 Degree Flameless Tesla Arcs
- The TACAMO H2 includes a safety cap and locks to keep children away from the hot plasma, a 10-second auto-shutoff feature, and both an over-charging and over-current protection
- You have a lifetime guarantee, so if anything happens, they will replace it without any hesitation
- The only major con is that compared to its more expensive brethren, it doesn’t have such long battery life, but that can easily be solved with an additional battery pack
3. Frog & Co 2.0
The Frog&Co Waterproof Lighter will be an excellent addition to anyone’s outdoor survival backpack. This ele has a windproof and waterproof structure and is convenient to use because it does not require any adjustments to the altitude and doesn’t use butane.
With its sturdy plastic case, which also features a wire safety latch, keeping the lighter protected and within easy reach is possible. You can charge it in a matter of an hour, and you use it with just a push of a button, so it is not only easy to “refill” but to use it, too.
All it takes is to allow the dual-arcs to touch something flammable to begin a fire. Each full charge allows you to use this lighter for around 250 to 300 times. For safety purposes, it also has a 10-second timeout. This lighter is an amazing addition to every adventurer going out in the wild.
- This electric lighter has a wind and waterproof structure and is convenient to use, as it requires no altitude adjustments and does not use butane
- Increasing full charge allows you to use this lighter between 250-300 times аnd it also has a 10-second timeout for safety purposes
- As for starting a fire, if you let almost anything near the arcs for a couple of seconds, it will go ablaze, making the whole process as easy as possible
- The metal used in the lighter is very prone to corrosion, and the buttons are very flimsy so that they will fall off in a couple of months
4. Green Vivid Explorer
This lighter is the epidemy of weatherproof design, with cover and locking clasp with metal ring sealed design, to achieve perfect waterproof function. Also, it’s flameless and works well even on windy or rainy days, making it the perfect lighter for camping, hiking, traveling, and any outdoor activities.
Simply connect the Green Vivid waterproof lighter to any powered USB port, and in half an hour, it will be 80% charged. After 2hrs charging, it could last up to a week or 100-300 usage. And, the dual arc technology design gives you even more firepower.
The use of plasma eliminates the harmful to the human body butane, which is a welcomed addition to anyone. With multiple protections, such as short circuit protection, connection protection, low voltage protection, high voltage protection, and overcharge protection, this lighter is not only durable but also one of the safest out there.
- The Explored has one of the best weatherproof designs, with Both a lighter cover and a locking clasp with a sealed metal ring, achieving perfect waterproofness
- Simply connect the Green Vivid waterproof lighter to any powered USB port, and in half an hour, it will be 80% charged, making sure that even if you forgot until the last moment, you are covered
- The use of plasma eliminates the harmful to the human body butane, which is a welcomed addition to anyone
- The only major caveat here is pretty bad, the lack of a safety latch or a feature for automatic turn-off, which can be pretty dangerous
5. Zippo Matte
Here we have the iconic Zippo lighter, which has been one of if not the best lighters for generations and is a reliable choice for every survival enthusiast out there. Zippos are very small and also slick and good-looking, so carrying them every day will be something you actually want, not just need.
They are made from a durable metal casing, which gives them an immense level of durability, and the case can be changed for one with a different design, which there are thousands of. There are even some special models that allow for personal customization of your own Zippo lighter.
Their unique chimney design makes them particularly resilient in windy conditions, and their adjustable wick allows users to control the size of the flame, allowing for the lighter to adapt to many different conditions. And they also come with an amazing lifetime warranty, which is a rare but nice surprise.
So is Zippo a good survival lighter?
Though the Zippo is an icon and a true masterpiece of functional design, it does come with some disadvantages, though. While it is very resistant to wind, the Zippo will be immediately dead when it contacts water, but you can overcome this with some hydrophobic adhesive. And while it doesn’t have a direct flame and it is definitely a bit heavier, if you choose to go with a Zippo, it won’t be a bad choice.
- Iconic design
- Lifetime warranty
- Simple and reliable
- Not waterproof
- No direct flame
6. Zippo Plasma Insert
Continuing from the last entry, if you want to keep your classic Zippo look but you want to switch the ignition system to plasma, Zippo has got you covered. With this Lighter Insert, you can take out the traditional Zippo core and replace it with a tesla one to keep the iconic look while giving it a much-needed upgrade.
With a simple double-tap push button, you get a genuine windproof double plasma arc, allowing you to start a fire in almost any condition. The lighter has a 200 mAh IEC battery that is charged through a micro USB, so that compatibility won’t be an issue. And the whole charging process happens for only an hour but gives you 300 uses, which is a lot.
This Zippo Insert also comes with a 10-second insert, which is a nice safety feature, which, combined with its compatibility with all regular Zippo cases, makes this lighter an amazing addition to both collectors and enthusiasts of survival.
- If you want to keep your classic Zippo look, but you want to switch the ignition system to of your normal Zippo to a plasma lighter, this is a choice
- The Zippo insert has a 200 mAh IEC battery that is charged through a micro USB, so compatibility won’t be an issue, which is a very good thing for a survival tool
- This Zippo Insert also comes with a 10-second insert, which is a nice safety feature, which, combined with its compatibility with all regular Zippo cases
- Because it is an insert into a standard Zippo case, this lighter lacks the crucial feature that makes other Tesla ones so good – waterproofing
7. Surprus Candle
This is the updated version of the Surprus Bonnet, which gives you treble protection and a safety lock switch, which you need to push first, then press the ignition switch to work. For the safety of the consumer, the igniting spark will auto-stop beyond 7 seconds per igniting. Restart the switch, and the igniting spark will be re-ignited. Wind & Splash Proof Design prevents the electric pulse produced from being blown out by the strong wind. It is also very lightweight and easy to carry, which is an excellent thing for a survival item.
At the bottom, 4 LEDs indicate a real-time battery level, a rare feature in these tesla lighters. For a lighter that eliminates the harmful butane chemical, it doesn’t cut too many corners, and at its reasonable price, I strongly recommend it.
- An updated version of the Surprus Bonnet, this lighter gives you treble protection and a safety lock switch
- For the safety of the consumer, the igniting spark will auto stop beyond 7 seconds per igniting, preventing some very unfortunate accidents
- At the bottom, 4 LEDs indicate a real-time battery level, which is a very rare feature in these tesla lighters but also a great one
- While it does really have some nice quality of life features, at the end of the day, it lacks a long battery life, and that’s pretty bad
8. Vertigo by Lotus Cyclone
This lighter incorporates Vertigo’s iconic triple-flame design into a very durable body that is not only good-looking but also functional. It incorporates a clear fuel tank in its futuristic design that allows you to see how much fuel is left at any time. It is amazingly lightweight and compact, so stashing it in your pocket will be as easy as pie, and as for survival items, these two features are must-haves.
A quartz crystal powers the dual ignition direct flame to ensure many uses without any defects. Overall, if you are into this more traditional ignition system, this lighter is a nice choice, and it will be an excellent addition to anyone’s bug-out bag.
- The Vertigo manages to incorporate Vertigo’s iconic triple-flame design into a functional and durable but also very good-looking body
- The Lotus Cyclone has a clear fuel tank, so you can see at any time how much fuel you have left, giving you a little bit of tactical advantage
- A quartz crystal powers the dual ignition direct flame to ensure many uses without any defects
- Could be prone to leaks
9. Icfun Waterproof Lighter
The Icfun Outdoor Waterproof Lighter would be another excellent product, making all your backcountry camping fun and easier to manage. It allows you to start a fire no matter where or when you want because it has an amazing IP 65 Weather-resistant, which is something amazing to have.
With such a structure and weatherproof rating, water can never penetrate inside. The Icfun is created to be completely versatile as it is appropriate for almost all outdoor activities, like hiking, traveling, and camping. And you don’t need to handle the dangerous chemical butane when using this new lighter because it uses a plasma coil that needs only a battery, which conveniently is pre-installed.
This waterproof lighter from Icfun is also constructed from durable materials, specifically zinc alloy and ABS, so carrying it into the wild will be a hassle-free experience.
- It allows you to start a fire no matter where or when you want because it has an amazing IP 65 Weather-resistant
- The Icfun is also created to be completely versatile as it is appropriate for almost all outdoor activities, like hiking, traveling, and camping
- The battery lacks the usage of the dangerous chemical Butane and replaces it with a battery-powered Tesla coil
- The lighter suffers from huge battery problems, and it will either ship without a functioning battery or, after a month of usage, it won’t charge
10. Guevara Butane
This lighter form Guevara uses high-quality double jet flames that create a nice and consistent stream of flames that allows you to use it in any situation you can think of. It can be used for smoking cigars and cigarettes, in the kitchen, in the garage, or even when going in the wild for hiking or a family trip.
While the Guevara does indeed use a little bit of outdated butane fuel, it has a nice window with which you can monitor how much you have left. It also includes a gas flow know so you can adjust the size of the flame with ease. Overall the lighter is a nice-looking gift, not only because of its case but also because you can package it in a gorgeous gift box. So while it isn’t even remotely the best light for survival, it is definitely a nice accessory to have that can be somewhat useful even in an emergency.
- The Guevara uses high-quality double jet flames that create a nice and consistent stream of flames, giving you even more power and versatility
- While this lighter does indeed use a little bit of outdated butane fuel, it has a nice window with which you can monitor how much you have left
- It is durable enough to be used not only in the kitchen or for lighting cigars but also on the field for some mild survival work
- While the lighter definitely has enough power for some survival work, more effort was put into making it look good, and at the end of the day, it’s just a nice-looking gift
How to choose a lighter for survival?
Like people, not every lighter is made the same, and some just aren’t well built enough to withstand the harsh conditions of mother nature. So, when choosing the light that is right for your needs, you need to look for a couple of things in particular, and down below, I’m going to explain each of the factors that make an ordinary one into the best lighter for you.
You will need to think about how you plan on using your survival lighter before you start looking for brand names and quality materials. A good light will be able to start an emergency fire in a matter of one to two minutes and should be able to withstand moisture and wind. But you shouldn’t go all out if you won’t be using it in the wild, so consider what exactly you need it for.
They should be built well enough to actually “survive” long enough to make use of it in an actual emergency. So when browsing through all the products on Amazon, put a huge emphasis on the word survival.
One should still be able to light a fire even if it falls a huge distance or is beaten up quite a bit. You should choose tough products that can withstand weight and impact without breaking a sweat. Most of the best ones are made from welded shut stainless steel to resist not only the weather but also rust and impacts easily.
When you go outdoors, there are many different weather and climate conditions, including snowstorms, rains, and floods. Your lighter should be able to work just by pressing a button and should not struggle. Otherwise, it’s useless in an emergency situation. You will encounter many products, and each of them will have its own pros and cons. For example, wick-based ones are good at starting a fire at freezing temperatures, but as it ages, the fuel system tends to leak out. So, instead of getting a jack of all unreliable trades, get a couple of different lighters to ensure you will be safe in any situation.
4. Direct Flame
Do not forget the factor when choosing a lighter survival factor. Because of a feature called a direct flame, a regular lighter won’t work in pouring rain or gale, while a survival one can. Direct flame means the fire coming from the device should be like a torch, which is a great thing to have if you want to burn something quickly or if you want to start a quickfire.
5. Water Resistance
While there are some water-resistant matches out there, if they are soaked in your bag for too long, they will be no good. On the other hand, a waterproof lighter can withstand large amounts of water for a long time, which makes them a much superior choice.
Some lighters also have the bonus of a waterproof casing that keeps out the unit’s moisture and air. This may be one of the most important features you should be looking for since you can’t expect the environment always to be warm and dry. So the perfect combination is a stainless steel casing that is wielded shut to have all the protection you may need.
The purpose of a lighter is to be a portable fire-making device. You should definitely make sure it is lightweight enough to not feel like a burden in your pocket and also well-sculpted enough to use it freely without slipping out of your hand. There are many different types of portable lighters. Many assume the shape of a capsule, which is compact and has a negligible weight factor. The best one should be bulky and durable but also lightweight enough to not be detrimental to your survival gear, where every once counts.
If you want a product you can use for a long time, you’ll have to think about the refillability. There is some advantage in being able to refill your lighter when it runs out, but this is not a priority. Also, many tesla ones only need to be charged, so if you have a dynamo, you have an infinite lighter in a sense.
One of the lighter’s more advanced features is hands-free lighting, which allows the user to strike and produce fire with just one hand. Today many products take advantage of having multiple features, like an emergency hammer or a whistle. In some scenarios, though, the ability to start a fire with only one hand is more important than any other one.
9. Wind Resistance
Like water resistance, wind resistance is an invaluable feature to have, no matter where you are. Because even if you are somewhere in the desert, where rain hardly ever falls, wind can still find you in the cold desert night.
What makes a good lighter ?
No matter the exact style you prefer, a survival lighter is an essential part of your survival equipment, and there are a few common aspects all lighters share.
By definition, disposable lighters are of a variety of use and tossed. The aim of the manufacturers that can be disposed of is to make a small profit on each sale. And they’re competing by making their product so cheap that you buy and toss, buy and toss, again and again.
But you can not fill them up again. Otherwise, you would be holding and refilling it, and the businesses would lose money. So while it’s true that you can buy 5 or 10 cheap disposable lighters for a single Zippo, for example, long-term, it’s not worth it. You not only sacrifice quality and durability, but over time, you waste money.
Before and after every adventure you go on, you can top it off and always hold a near-full lighter with you. Never again have to worry about it dying on you in the middle of a trip!
Plus, you’ll be saving money with refillable lighters over the long haul. Using a refillable one means buying a can of fuel instead of new lighters every few months.
The great outdoors aren’t kind of cheaply made tools-especially in situations of survival. I broke several cheapo lighters in my younger years, scrambling over rocks or dropping them on the trail just to get crunched underfoot. It’s a major comfort to know that your survival lighter can handle outdoor abuse. And as there are plenty of lasting products out there, there’s no reason to risk that. Regarding lighters, you get what you pay for, and durability is a significant survival advantage.
Water is the ultimate enemy of fire. And the fire enemy is the lighter enemy to your survival. You’re out of luck if you drop a non-waterproof lighter into the snow or a puddle or try to use it in the rain. And regular lighters, once they are soaking wet, take a long time to dry out and start working.
Direct vs Indirect Flame
A direct flame resembles a torch, while an indirect flame resembles a match. BIC lighters use indirect flames, and when you’re in a windy area, these can be a real pain. The wind is going to puff out your flame like nothing. But blow-outs are less susceptible to direct flame. Making quick starting a fire more efficient. Direct windproof lighters with flames make lighters meant for survival far superior.
What Can You Use Your Lighter For?
Lighters are simple yet incredible devices that allow us to:
- Stay warm
- Cook food
- Boil (and sterilize) water
- Illuminate areas
- Keep predators away
All of these powers lie in simplicity. Fire equals heat energy, and we can tap this energy anytime, anywhere, with one lighter! But you need a tool you can rely on at any time, anywhere. Now, for the most part, cheap conventional lighters do work.
Disposable lighters serve their primary function, but for serious survivalists, they are NOT good enough – like you and me. And, as with most cool gadgets for survival, the market is now full of far better options. Thousands of new badass flame-makers all claim to be the “best” or the “highest-rated.” So we decided to find out once and for all which survival lighters are the best and why to cut through the smoke and get to the flames of this topic.
Whether in the garage working on some repairs or on a family trip out in the forest, a survival lighter is a multi-functional piece of equipment every man should have. They are durable, long-lasting, and quick, and as you probably know by now, fire is something people wouldn’t be able to survive without. So after reading this article, and when you feel informed enough, go ahead and choose the lighter that suits you. You won’t regret it, trust me.